kosher kids book 88 298.
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Kosher by Design: Kids in the Kitchen
By Susie Fishbein
Shaar Press/ Artscroll
From its colorful and attractive front cover to the amazing selection of dessert recipes, Susie Fishbein's Kids in the Kitchen cookbook does not disappoint. Part of the Kosher By Design series of "how to" books, the elegant design and logical layout is as refreshing as its content.
Aimed primarily at the younger generation, Kids in the Kitchen is a perfect introduction for children, tweens and teens to the fun of being in the kitchen. There is nothing preachy about it and no pressure about eating right, but rather 80 delicious yet sensible recipes for children to make and enjoy.
The book begins with a well-written introduction to cooking for both parents and kids. Fishbein urges adults to open up their kitchen to children of both genders and suggests that the one-on-one time is important for nurturing purposes. She also points out "the recipes in the book are for real food, nothing silly like gummy worms crawling out of cookie crumbs. They are for foods that kids universally love as well as some starter ideas for simple meals." She also encourages parents to let their young ones learn on their own, intervening only when there is a safety issue.
In her introduction written for the children, Fishbein offers two tips to rule any kitchen. The first is to get organized, first by reading the recipe through and understanding exactly what one is about to do. The second rule is to clean up as you go along (I wish someone had told me all that when I was younger!). The book is divided into 11 chapters, which include "Safety Rules for the Kitchen," "How to Keep Your Kitchen Kosher" and an equipment guide to set the young chefs off in the right direction. Following are recipes for starters, breakfast, snacks, meat and dairy mains, side dishes, drinks and desserts.
The accompanying photographs by John Uher require special mention, because nothing makes a cookbook more enjoyable than mouth-watering pictures. When I flicked through the book with my five-year-old, a fussy eater at the best of times, he agreed that practically every dish looked delicious.
Of course what is photographed and what actually turns out at the end of the at-home cooking process is a different matter. Though the book is meant for older children, my five-year-old and his three-year-old sister had great fun making sugar cookies. And, I might add, the finished product did actually resemble the illustration!
The recipes are very easy to follow (even while supervising my two young ones), with the difficulty level of each one clearly marked. In addition to the instructions and the list of ingredients, there is also a list of the equipment necessary to make a particular dish. This can help any novice chef to really get organized in the kitchen.
The main criticism of Fishbein's work is that she does not directly address nutritional issues. In her forward she claims that the lesson is learned when children see foods in their raw form and learn how to use the ingredients properly. However, some explanation of why vegetables are good for you and why eating fast foods is bad would have definitely enhanced the lessons being taught here.
That said, if you are searching for an impressive and unique Hanukka gift that will be treasured for a long time, then Kids in the Kitchen cookbook is warmly recommended.
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